The European Fascination With Libertarians

“That’s libertarians for you – anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.” -Kim Robinson

Living in Europe, I get an interesting perspective on American politics. There’s the fascination with the two party system, a lack of understanding of the Tea Party, disgust at American foreign policy, and a weird love for Ron Paul.

I meet a lot of Dutch people who ask me why Ron Paul isn’t taken more seriously as a candidate or who tell me that if they could vote in the American presidential election, they would support Ron Paul.

At first, I found this love affair with Ron Paul confusing, after all, in the US, it is common knowledge that Ron Paul and his “Paulites” are totally insane and have completely broken with reality. Are the Dutch unaware that Paul supports returning to the Gold Standard, wants to withdraw from the UN, and opposes the Civil Rights Act?

In a word, yes.

The only picture of Ron Paul that the Dutch seem to get is that he was opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and wants to withdraw from them immediately and he supports marijuana legalization. From that perspective, Paul seems like a reasonable candidate. In fact, on those two platforms alone, I’d support Ron Paul.

Unfortunately, with the good Ron Paul comes the crazy Ron Paul. Paul supports Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, doesn’t believe that sexual harassment happens in the workplace, thinks that states have the rights to enact anti-sodomy laws, denies climate change, and thinks that health care is a privilege you should have to pay for. He’s also radically anti-choice, going so far as to claim that he once witnessed “a two-and-a-half-pound baby taken out crying and breathing and put in a bucket” during a late-term abortion procedure. I consider myself radically pro-choice and I don’t like babies but if I was standing in that operating room, I would have thrown a goddamn fit.

I’m doing my part to enlighten the Dutch as to Paul’s problems, but it’s been an uphill battle so far.


  1. kangaruhs

    Ron Paul is not advocating a Gold Standard in his campaign. His plan (and this is taken directly from his campaign website, under his “Plan to Restore America,” which I assume you’ve read since you’re publishing your opinions about his positions)

    “Conducts a full audit of the Federal Reserve and implements competing currency legislation to strengthen the dollar and stabilize inflation.”

    Legalizing competing currencies  =!  the Gold Standard

  2. dmf

    The gold standard is the one thing Paul will never forsake. It is practically the very core of his political being. If you don’t think advocates it, I’d say it’s you who isn’t very familiar with Ron Paul.

  3. I know pro-choice liberal women here in the US who support Ron Paul.  I don’t believe for a minute they’ve actually read his policy statements beyond his anti-war stuff.  I pointed out his comments about “real rape” to one girl I know who’s a libertarian and she refused to believe that he’d actually said it–even though he said it ON.CAMERA.  I think a lot of libertarians, even in the US, are just in complete denial about the realities of what he advocates.  Sounds like a lot of European fans of his are as well.

  4. From Paul’s website:

    “Fiat money is a dangerous addiction. Even if the Fed found a way to stop inflation, as long as the current system persists the temptation will always be there to resume pushing the easy money button. That’s why we need to get back on the gold standard and eliminate the Federal Reserve altogether”

  5. I really think it’s a sort of religion. They desperately need him to be exactly like the saint they picture him to be, and will ignore evidence to the contrary because it would completely ruin their worldview.

    It’s kind of ironic, I think. These people seem to think themselves the ultimate realists, when they can’t accept the inevitable flaws of politicians, and people really, that will ALWAYS be there. For them, someone out there HAS to be perfect. Has to be “the answer”. And right now, it’s Ron Paul.

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